Sevilla wins late vs. Celta Vigo to move even with Atletico Madrid in 3rd place
MADRID (AP) – Wissam Ben Yedder scored three minutes after entering the game to give Sevilla a late 2-1 win over 10-man Celta Vigo in the Spanish league on Thursday.
The victory moved Sevilla even on points with third-place Atletico Madrid with four matches left. Third place guarantees an automatic spot in the Champions League next season, while the fourth-placed team has to go through a playoff.
Ben Yedder netted the winner from close range after a low cross by Samir Nasri in the 79th minute, beating a defender to the ball and hitting the top of the net with a right-footed shot.
''It was a complex game but the team was able to overcome the difficulties,'' Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli said.
Joaquin Correa put the host ahead after halftime, and Iago Aspas equalized by converting a penalty kick just minutes later. Aspas did not celebrate the goal out of respect to fans of his former club.
Sevilla dominated from the start and was pressuring vigorously in search of the winner, especially after Celta went a man down when midfielder Pablo Hernandez was sent off with a second yellow card in the 56th with the game 1-1.
Sergio Escudero and Nasri each struck the crossbar a few minutes apart late in the second half, and Vicente Iborra also had hit the woodwork earlier in the game played under steady rain in Seville.
It was the third win in four matches for Sevilla after a streak of five games without a win.
Sevilla and Atletico are level on points, but the Madrid club is ahead on the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Elsewhere in La Liga on Thursday:
ATHLETIC BILBAO 2, REAL BETIS 1
Aritz Aduriz converted a second-half penalty kick and Iker Muniain added a goal with a header seven minutes later as Athletic Bilbao won to move back into sixth place and stay in position to qualify for the Europa League.
Athletic's third consecutive victory left the team one point behind Villarreal and one point in front of seventh-place Real Sociedad.
Real Betis, which scored through Ruben Castro, dropped to 15th in the 20-team standings.
ALAVES 0, EIBAR 0
Alaves drew its second consecutive game after being unable to defeat Eibar despite playing with an extra man from the 26th minute.
Eibar goalkeeper Asier Riesgo was sent off with a straight red card after touching the ball with his hand outside the area while trying to contain a breakaway.
The scoreless draw left the teams near the middle of the table. Eibar was eighth and promoted Alaves is 10th.